Saturday, June 2, 2012

From one job to the next

Jack-up drill rig off the coast of Lousiana

Shrimp boats

Well head

Oil platform with a jack-up barge and a flare tower

Launching the magnetometer from our survey boat

Potting a solder joint with resin on the new tow cable
After nearly five weeks in Louisiana I'm only home for two weeks before we start our next survey.  For this next survey we will be working in the beautiful fiords of Southeast Alaska.  The contrast to the Gulf of Mexico could not be greater.  The gulf of Mexico near Port Fourchon is hot, humid, and overrun with the oil industry.  The near-shore waters are a maze of oil wells, oil platforms, flare towers, and work-boats.  In contrast, the waters of the inside passage will be cool and quiet, even with the occasional cruse ship and fishing vessel.

For this upcoming survey we are taking the R/V Ugle Duckling and just about every type of survey equipment we use.  This week I have been busy mobilizing the boat and preparing our equipment.  We purchased a new tow cable which has meant a lot of time loading and unloading cable, testing each piece of equipment with the new cable, and terminating cables with underwater connectors. Both ends of the cable and every piece of equipment must be fitted with a connector that is waterproof.  To attach the connector to the cable it is necessary to solder each wire and then pot the entire junction in a resin that will keep the water out even under extreme pressure.  It's a lot of work and my colleague Rich and I have had to put in a few extra hours to stay on schedule.

It doesn't help that we have moved to a new warehouse leaving us a bit more disorganized than usual.  There has been a lot of "Hey, have you seen this or that?".  I do love the new warehouse and am looking forward to having time this fall or winter to get more organized.

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